Postabortion woman: my abortion was like a rape

From a book by a pro-choice author who collected the stories of women who had abortions, these are one postabortion woman’s words:

“The abortion itself was the worst part of the experience. I experienced it as a real violation, almost a rape.”

The author says:

She had been raped before, so she does not make the analogy lightly.”

Eve Kushner Experiencing Abortion: a Weaving of Women’s Words (Binghamton, New York: The Haworth Press, 1997) 185

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Planned Parenthood board member wants to charge families for excess children

Lawrence McKinney, at the time Planned Parenthood board member in upstate New York, said the following upon seeing a large family:

“All I do actually is to multiply them by $600, which is deductible from their income tax and realize that I, with only three children, am paying for them. The McKinney suggestion, which has and will go nowhere is: 1) give everybody a tax reduction for four children and after that make them pay $600 for every other child. The only trouble with my system is that since most of the explosive families are on relief anyway, there is nothing to deduct from or to tax with.”

Mary C Kahl Controversy and Courage: Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood from 1934 to 2004 (New York: IUniverse, Inc., 2004) 43

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Pro-choice woman has abortion, can’t explain why she feels she “killed something”

In a book by a pro-choice author who collected postabortion testimonies from a number of women, a postabortive woman named Nora told her story. Nora was strongly pro-choice and anti-Catholic and couldn’t understand her feelings of guilt after her abortion.

From the author:

When Nora had an unplanned pregnancy 8 months ago, her scorn for Catholicism played into her decision. She recalls, “All those films I was shown in Catholic school – those were a big part of my having an abortion, because I was rejecting them.” Nora found those pro-life ideas “bogus,” “wrong,” and “based on nothing.”

She took more than scorn into account when she decided to end her pregnancy; as she was still an undergraduate and valued her education highly, her choice was automatic. She viewed her upcoming abortion simply as a legal right she could exercise and expected to feel nothing. Instead, in the weeks afterword, pain and confusion rolled over her in waves.

Nora says:

When I was really freaking out, I couldn’t even formulate my opinion on it. It was just this feeling of horribleness and you can’t even put everything together and see what you’re really thinking. It’s pure emotional rottenness….I’d wake up in the middle of the night and I’d be crying. I felt really empty inside.…

I thought I was going to go nuts at one point…

I sound like a Catholic here, thinking that this child was real and natural and that I ended his life. I’m disturbed at the process.

From the author:

Nora was shocked that her feelings showed up with a pro-life undertone. She recalls thinking “This is so trite that I’m having this.” She explains, “I was so disgusted with myself for having the feeling that I killed something. I was really surprised that I would have that kind of conservative attitude.” Rejecting Catholicism but still feeling terrible after her abortion presented a conflict. Nora says, “I felt bad for feeling grief, because I thought I was succumbing to that garbage.”

The pro-choice author who collected this story tries to pass off Nora’s guilt as just hormones:

Because Nora’s strong reaction occurred in the weeks after her abortion, her feelings were probably linked to the hormonal shifts a body goes through when pregnancy ends. The drop in hormone levels may have colored her moods with a painful and frightening intensity.

But even she acknowledges that this argument is weak:

This does not tell the full story, however. Neither societal censure nor hormones determine the content of our concerns. To attribute most postabortion reactions to those causes is politically useful, but emotionally too simple.

Eve Kushner Experiencing Abortion: A Weaving of Women’s Words (Binghamton, New York: The Haworth Press, 1997) 7 – 9

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Abortion clinic’s business declines by 50% after pro-life commercial airs

An article in LifeSiteNews told of the impact a pro-life commercial had on the business of one abortion clinic. Abby Johnson, the former manager of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Texas, was interviewed. The article said:

“Johnson described the impact of one pro-life television advertisement campaign that criticized her own Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan, Texas. Everyone working at the clinic, she says, had seen the ad – and apparently, so had many women who might have had abortions there.

The article quotes Johnson herself saying:

“Our numbers declined almost 50 percent while that campaign was running. “Why?

“Because pro-life media works.”

Kathleen Gilbert “Pro-life TV ad cut abortions at clinic by almost half: former Planned Parenthood director” LifeSiteNews May 10, 2012

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Abortion justified by original sin?

Methodist minister John M Swomley who we’ve heard from before, disputes the belief that unborn babies are “innocent” and should not be killed:

“The first claim is that society should protect innocent human life that is unable to protect itself. The term “innocent,” originally used by various popes, refers to fetal life which has committed no sin. Yet the Roman Catholic Church has proclaimed only one person, Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as having an immaculate conception and hence free from original sin. In any event, public policy cannot be founded on theological claims to innocence.

There is another meaning of “innocence” which comes from two Latin words, in (not) and nocere (to harm), and therefore means “not harmful or dangerous.” However, it is precisely the fact that some pregnant women (and their physicians) view the fetus as harmful or threatening to their health or welfare and hence leads them to consider abortion.”

John M Swomley Compulsory Pregnancy: the War against American Women (Amherst, New York: Humanist Press, 1999) 14

Tiny remains of a baby aborted at 7 weeks

Tiny remains of a baby aborted at 7 weeks

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Former Planned Parenthood abortionist campaigned for abortion ban

Dr. Patti Giebink, a board-certified OB/GYN and former abortionist, appeared in a commercial promoting initiative 11, a measure that would have banned abortion in South Dakota. The commercial was produced by pro-life activists who supported the initiative.

When the video opens, Dr. Giebink is standing in a building that once housed an abortion clinic. In her own words:

“In this building, this used to be a private abortion clinic, for many years, and when that doctor wanted to retire he then sold the building to Planned Parenthood, which then hired me to work for them doing abortions….”

She then describes what happened when a woman entered the abortion facility.

“As soon as the women would come in, they would be checked in at the front desk, and they would pay their money before they got past the gate. So after they did the paperwork, then they would get some laboratory studies done, a pregnancy test, and then they would give their urine specimen for the pregnancy test, then they would be taken back to the ultrasound room. And at that time, they weren’t asked if they wanted to see the ultrasound. But they did get an ultrasound, and then they would go back to the waiting room to wait. Then, they would be taken to my room.”

Here we see, once again, that while Planned Parenthood does ultrasounds before abortions as a matter of policy, women are not offered the chance to see their babies on the screen. This is not surprising, considering the power of ultrasound images to change hearts and minds.

Giebink goes on to describe the abortion procedure:

“So I would meet the woman in the exam room and I would have a short period of time to talk about the procedure, ask if she had any questions, and usually one of the things that I always knew I had to explain was that when I turned on the suction machine, it was so loud that we couldn’t carry on a conversation. I would dilate the cervix according to the number of weeks, and I would choose the cannula that I was going to use. And I would attach the cannula to the hose going to the suction machine, and I would slide that into the dilated cervix, and then I turned the machine on, and then I would go around, suctioning out the uterus. And then I would take what’s called a sharp curette, which looks a little bit like a spoon, and then slide that into the cervix and just make sure the tissue was all removed, and then I’d make one more pass with the suction machine. And generally that was a very quick procedure.”

Dr. Giebink then walks over to a fetal model of a three-month-old child in the womb and says:

“By the time we get to three months, you can see the baby is well-developed. [Pointing to the fetal model, which clearly shows a fully formed unborn baby] You can see the size of the head and you [can] imagine how this head could not go through a plastic straw. And the further along, the more weeks of the pregnancy, the larger the cannula would be, up to a certain point.”

She then explains why aborting a child at this age is dangerous to a woman’s fertility:

“And when we talk about the risk of abortion, and how following abortion the woman is at risk for preterm delivery, and you can see that for this head to fit through a cannula, that the cervix has to be dilated to the point where you could fit a cannula through it.… The largest cannula we would have here was, I believe, a size 12.”

“And so you could also see that the hands and the feet are going to come through okay. But sometimes the head, which was also known as the calavarium, would not come out through the suction cannula, and I would have to use a forcep or a tool to grasp the head; to pull it out.”

She then describes the grisly procedure of verifying that all the pieces of the baby have been removed:

“And so you see the necessity of actually lining up the body parts, and making sure that there’s two hands, two feet, the head, the torso, because if I’m missing body parts, then I have to go back and repeat the procedure. And that didn’t happen very often; it was a very rare instance when I had to go back to retrieve more body parts.”

Then she explained how the baby parts were disposed of:

“People would ask me, how did we dispose of the babies – the body parts, the tissue? And so I would usually [goes to the sink] rinse everything under the water and end up with just parts. And then there would be a big container under here [gestures to a container in the cabinet under the sink] that had a medical waste bag, and all the tissue would go into this container with the medical waste bag. Nothing but liquid went down the sink.”

The babies were further dehumanized by being treated as medical waste.
After the broken body of the child was discarded in the biohazard container, the abortion procedure was over.

“Once the patient was done with the procedure, was done with the abortion, then the patient was taken to the recovery room.…”

Dr. Giebink then gives the reasons that she now opposes abortion.

“We’ve learned that abortion hurts women. That women are more likely to have a preterm delivery after having an abortion. They’re more likely to have depression and suicide. There are serious risks of having elective abortions. Some women never get over it. Women develop problems…
And I think in a woman’s heart, she knows that that is unique human being. That’s not just a piece of tissue. And I was guilty of adding to that concept, because that’s what I explained – I said, “it’s just a piece of tissue.” I could not allow myself to think of that as a unique human being, as a life, because obviously, the next train of thought was “I’m killing a life.”

…. I was the main abortion provider during those years. And it’s my desire to end abortion on demand in South Dakota.”

Unfortunately, despite Dr. Giebink’s moving testimony and the efforts of pro-lifers in South Dakota, initiative 11 failed to pass.  Abortion is still legal in South Dakota, but with more and more abortion providers converting and telling their stories, perhaps one day abortion will be banned.

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Nurse describes abortion of 4 pound baby girl

The essay “Products of Conception” is a first-hand account from a nurse who worked in a hospital that did abortions. It’s appeared in a little-known book called “The Abortion Debate: TCU Voices,” which was released in 2012.  

Nurse Bonnie L. McClory was an obstetric technician in the Labor and Delivery unit of what she calls a “large metropolitan hospital.” She was pursuing a nursing degree and taking a class that would prepare her to work on the floor where babies were delivered. Sometimes the babies were delivered alive. Other times, the babies were delivered dead – the victims of saline abortions done at the hospital.

A saline abortion is performed by sticking a needle into the woman’s abdomen and injecting caustic saline solution into the amniotic fluid that surrounds her baby. This late-term abortion method uses the solution to poison the baby, who dies, sometimes over the course of several hours. Then labor is induced and the woman essentially “gives birth” to a dead child. Sometimes babies were born alive after this technique. The problem of live births, as well as the risks to the mother from the saline injection, led to this method being abandoned by most abortionists in the 1990s.

McClory describes how she was the only pro-lifer in the class:

My status in the class was one of the maverick. I was staunchly pro-life; my views arose from my own experience of being unintentionally pregnant at 17 and a mother at 18. None of my classmates had ever borne a child; only one was married. I had already given birth to two sons and had seen my marriage disintegrate.

My classmates did not seem too affected by our having to watch a first trimester abortion from the operating room gallery as part of our training. I sat among them, tears staining my white scrub dress; they chatted about the handsome resident doing the procedure and how lucky the teenage patient was to be able to get on with her life. I fought nausea as I watch that handsome resident piece together what he and removed from the teenager’s uterus as he made sure he got it all out. My classmates turned away from the sight of the little mound of red flesh laid out in the small metal basin. They turned away from my obvious grief, as well.

McClory was deeply saddened by her classmates’ callous attitudes. Later, the OB techs (which she and her classmates were called) were given the task of helping with saline abortions. McClory says:

We OB techs were supposed to provide the supportive care to these [saline] patients while they labored and assist the doctor when he or she delivered the dead fetus. None of my OB Tech colleagues like this part of the job. I heard them rationalize it, though, as a woman’s right to choose. But it broke my heart, every time the doctor handed me a basin with a small, perfectly formed human baby lying dead and bloody inside it. I forced myself to rationalize that I had done nothing to bring about this death; I was merely cleaning up the aftereffects. That way, I could live with myself…

McClory struggled with her conscience as her job required her to attend more and more abortions:

Saline abortions became more and more frequent in the Labor and Delivery Unit. In an effort to cope, I read about the procedure, hoping against hope that it was not as horrible as my mind imagined it to be. It wasn’t – it was worse.

The physician first raised a skin wheal with a local anesthetic on the maternal abdomen. Then a long needle was inserted into the uterus, through the numbed abdominal area. A fairly large amount of amniotic fluid was withdrawn from the uterus and then replaced with hypertonic saline. Hypertonic saline cause the fetal cells to burst. Death ensued shortly, but not before the fetus convulsed in death throes. Sometimes the mothers could feel these convulsions, depending on how far along in pregnancy they were.

She describes one horrific “delivery”:

The doctors usually attended the saline abortion deliveries, which could be complicated. Many of the fetuses were born feet first. Delivering the small head could be challenging because the opening of the uterus, the cervix, sometimes closed down around the head, trapping it. Once I saw a doctor pull so hard, he detached the body from the trapped head. Of course, the fetus was already dead, but he was as horrified as I was; I saw his eyes above his blue facemask.

Most of the patients were heavily sedated; they were barely aware when their dead baby was whisked away in a basin. A few, however, were awake:

The few patients who refused sedation had varying responses to their abortions, but most became agitated, a few hysterical. Some asked the sex of the aborted fetus. All of them looked away from the towel covered basin containing the dead baby.

McClory was given the task of handling the babies’ bodies and preparing them to be sent to the pathology lab where they would be dissected:

Cleaning up meant boxing up the fetus in a round, white, one gallon cardboard container – the kind you see in ice cream stores. I had to place one of the mother’s identification stickers on the box and then put it into the specimen refrigerator, awaiting its eventual destination in the pathology lab.

At times I was the unwilling midwife, forced into delivering lifeless mites when I was the only one who walked into the labor room to find them half born.… I could also identify the gender of those fetuses; they were fully formed, even if they were only 5 to 8 inches long. I hated this part of my job…

McClory may have hated her job, but she coped with it especially well. She continued working at the hospital and rationalized her role in the abortions. But then there was the abortion that changed everything.

Her assignment was to care for a teenager who went into labor after a saline abortion.

I remember looking at her chart, seeing the usual state required physician certification that the pregnancy was less than 20 weeks… I carried the usual little birth kit into her labor room; we did not bother to open a standard delivery room for an abortion patient.

Before I had time to introduce myself, much less take her vital signs, it was obvious she was about to deliver. I hit the call button to summon help, opened the birth kit, donned my sterile gloves and proceeded to deliver a nearly 4-pound dead baby girl, about 15 inches long, with a full head of hair. I tried to hide the little body from the patient, she saw it, and began screaming. “It’s a baby! My baby! My baby!”

Babies born at four pounds today often survive with minimal or no health problems. I personally was born premature and weighed only 4 pounds, 8 ounces at birth. Slightly larger than this baby, I was one of the older preemies in the care unit, where I spent the first few months of my life.

McClory goes on with her story: When the doctor arrived, he brusquely told her to take the “specimen” to the utility room. As she carried the baby away, the doctor injected the girl with a powerful narcotic and her screams died away into sobs. The baby was too big to fit into the containers that were generally used.

Seeing this, the head nurse told McClory to get a baby shroud, and clean and dress the fetus for the morgue. McClory describes the aborted baby girl:

She was beautiful, even in death. I gently cleaned her, patting her skin dry so it would not peel. Her silky fair hair had a slight curl to it after I washed it. She had long eyelashes, high cheekbones, and a tiny cleft in her chin. Her fingers were long and delicate, tiny nails dotting their ends.

After I dressed and tagged her, I conditionally baptized her. Her mother, I knew from the records, was Catholic. I held her in the crook of my left arm, against my heart – the same place I always held my own babies – and poured a few drops of water over her cool forehead.

My tears mixed with the water as a baptized her. “If you are able to receive this Sacrament, I baptize you in the name of The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.” Then I hugged her close in a great gasping sob and, in a gesture any mother would recognize, placed a kiss at the top of her little head. After I had done it, I realized it would be the only kiss she would ever receive.

She adds:

I picked up the necessary paperwork from the clerk and headed toward the back elevator. As I did so, I heard a woman asking the clerk if she could see her daughter. It was my patient’s name she gave.

I stopped and glanced back over my shoulder. A well-dressed couple in their mid-40s stood there. She had several diamond rings on her long, long fingers. He had fair, wavy hair and a cleft in his chin. Bile rose in my throat and it took every ounce of strength not to scream. The elevator came. I wheeled the little basin that on board, press the button for the basement, and safely delivered her to the morgue.

The young Jamaican attendant on duty gently lifted the small bundle from the basin and as I signed the morgue’s logbook. “Ah, God’s got himself another little angel,” he said in a soft island lilt. “Yes, he has,” I replied.

Why had the girl been aborted so late? McClory soon found out:

On returning to the labor and delivery floor, my head nurse pulled me into her office to see if I was okay… My back to her, I said, “Nancy, how could that doctor mistake a nearly eight-months baby for an 18 weeker? Even I can tell the difference when I palpate a pregnant abdomen.”

“Turn around, dear.” I did so. Her eyes were damp, like she was going to cry. “He knew right well she was that far along. Her parents are friends of his. Don’t say another word. It will all come out in the wash.”

I knew she meant it would end up in the physicians’ internal review committee, where doctors slapped each other on the wrist when they made mistakes that did not end up in litigation. I also knew the review committee was just a formality and that nothing would be done…

At the end of her shift, McClory submitted her resignation. Gone were the rationalizations. She could no longer aid in performing abortions, even if she was only “cleaning up” after them.

McClory went on to raise her children and helped women facing unplanned pregnancies. As a nurse, she always refused to work in any clinic or hospital that did abortions. Her choice not to work in some facilities cost her job advancement opportunities and earned her the scorn of some of her colleagues. But she never again was involved in an abortion.

In some states, abortion is legal all the way up to the moment of birth. In my home state of New Jersey, for example, a woman could get an abortion as late as she wants, as long as she can find a doctor willing to perform it. Legislation before Congress, if it passes, would ban most late-term abortions, regardless of how they are done.

Source: Bonnie L McClory “Products of Conception” Charles K Bellinger, ed. The Abortion Debate: TCU Voices (Fort Worth, Texas: Churchyard Books, 2012) 12-18

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Former Planned Parenthood worker tells a forced abortion of 17-year-old

Lavonne Wilenken worked as a nurse practitioner at a Planned Parenthood clinic. She shares some anecdotes about her time at Planned Parenthood in the book Bad Choices: A Look inside Planned Parenthood  by Douglas R Scott.  This little-known 1992 book contains information about Planned Parenthood. Although dated, it has some interesting statistics, facts, and testimonies from Planned Parenthood patients and staff.

In one anecdote,  Wilenken describes what happened when a teenage girl scheduled for an abortion changed her mind at the last minute:

Once when I was working in the family planning clinic where also the abortuary [abortion clinic] inhabited the same building, I was in a room with a counselor and a young woman. One of the family planning assistants came – burst in the room and said, “Please, you’ve got to come quick! She’s trying to back out of the procedure and everything is all ready!”

The counselor left hurriedly down the hall and I followed to see exactly what was going on and what I saw in the hall was the counselor, a 17-year-old girl and her aunt, dragging her into the room as she was hollering, “No, I don’t want to go! Please don’t make me! Please don’t make me do this! I really don’t want to do this!”

They very hurriedly shoved her in the room where the procedure was to take place and slammed the door and the counselor came out afterwards with a sort of a, a peaceful smiling look on his face, and I knew what had happened. I knew that they had aborted her against her will.

Source: Douglas R Scott Bad Choices: a Look inside Planned Parenthood (Franklin, Tennessee: Legacy Communications, 1992) 154

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Abortionist feels nothing for “child who does not exist”

Dr. Howard I Diamond, abortionist, when asked about abortionists who feel guilt:

“Why should they feel that way? Cultural – it’s all cultural. Like eating snake meat. If you tell yourself it’s disgusting, you’ll get sick….If I feel anything, I feel gratified. Abortion is much more important than the life of a child that doesn’t exist. When I saw how simple a procedure it was, I thought what a crime that women have suffered and gone down in shame. A fetus is nothing! The talk about abortion doesn’t touch on the reality of what goes on out there. It doesn’t touch on the 16-year-old whose mother took away her birth control pills because she did poorly on her examinations, does it?”

Norma Rosen “Between Guilt and Gratification: Abortion Doctors Reveal Their Feelings” New York Times April 17, 1977

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Postabortion woman: feminists minimize negative feelings after abortions

From one woman who had an abortion:

“I did feel feminists were and are minimizing the sad feelings of having an abortion. Even though mine did not last, they were intense and deserved to be respected – or given attention.”.…

Two years after the abortion, she says, “I wish someone had told me that I would think about it, that I would wonder what that child would’ve looked like, been like.”

It seems like her feelings may have lasted longer than she wants to admit. It’s telling that her fellow “feminists” didn’t want to acknowledge negative feelings about abortion.

Eve Kushner Experiencing Abortion: A Weaving of Women’s Words (Binghamton, New York: The Haworth Press, 1997)

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